By Ian Bush

By Technology Editor Ian Bush

CUPERTINO, Calif. (CBS) — Apple has unveiled a faster, slimmer iPhone.  So, is it worth the hype?

Apple calls it the “world’s thinnest smartphone.”  The screen is the same width, but it’s slightly taller, allowing for more icons and app real estate.

The iPhone 5 — in black or white with an aluminum back — will work with 4G networks from AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, matching some of its Android competitors with a fast wireless connection.   Apple says you’ll squeeze eight hours out of the battery for voice and data when connected to a wireless network, or 10 hours using WiFi.

It’s equipped with an A6 processor, which the company claims is two times faster than the previous chip and offers better graphics.

The front-facing FaceTime camera is now in HD. Apple promises the rear camera will do better in low light, and that the screen will have less glare in direct sunlight.

Apple has left Google Maps in the rearview mirror in favor of its own mapping app, and the voice-activated assistant, Siri, can now do more.

The iPhone 5 has a new connector, called ‘lightning,’ for docking and charging — but it’s not the micro USB standard (like on other phones) and, for now, won’t work with your old accessories.  Apple is planning to offer adapters.

Pre-orders start this Friday; the iPhone 5 ships next Friday.  With a contract, the 16GB model remains at $199 — though the two-year old iPhone 4 is now free with a contract.

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